Snowfall causes unusual cleanup measures

With the state of New Jersey experiencing a record snowfall this winter season, Seton Hall has had to take more drastic measures than in previous years to clean up the snow, such as hauling snow into remote lots and converting the Turrell Manor/525 Lot into snow storage, according to John Signorello, associate vice president for Facilities and Operations.

Signorello said the snow removal process escalates depending on the amount of snow that falls at a given time. According to Signorello if a storm is small, the cleanup is handled by the Grounds crew with plows and salt spreaders. In the case of larger storms, all Facilities personnel, including plumbers, electricians and HVAC mechanics are assigned to snow cleanup duties.

“During these periods, facilities personnel are here until the storm event is over and cleaned up,” Signorello said. “This could be two to three days straight, only breaking for meals and sleep.”

In addition, Signorello said in the case of very large snowstorms, such as the Dec. 26 and Jan. 27 snowstorms, an outside contractor with larger equipment is brought in to assist in piling snow and with other cleanup operations.

Different cleanup methods are also used for different types of winter storms.

“As we saw during a recent ice storm, ice is hard to plow/shovel and requires a larger salting operation,” Signorello said.

According to Signorello, the money for the snow cleanup and removal processes is a part of the overall Facilities budget. Snow budgeting is based on whether the storm is during the day or night, during the weekday or weekend and if campus events are involved.

Signorello did not provide a monetary amount for the budget.

“Every time we purchase new grounds equipment, it is evaluated for its snow removal potential,” Signorello said. “Most of the grounds trucks are equipped with plows and salters. Our new lawn equipment was purchased with both snow broom and plow attachments.”

Because Facilities had to use the Turrell Manor parking lot to store the excess snow, many students had to move their vehicles from that lot to the parking deck or under the hood of residence halls.

“We received an e-mail around 6 p.m. telling us we had to move our cars by 10 p.m. on the night (of the Jan. 27) snowstorm,” senior Kerry Magro said.

Magro said he had been picked up by his parents and had gone home for the evening, therefore leaving him unable to move his car. As a result, it was towed to the F-Lot. He added he had moved his car back to Turrell, where a few spots were still available but had to move it again on the evening of Jan. 31 in anticipation of another days-long snow and ice storm.

Signorello said Facilities tracks the weather and gets reports about possible storms.

“Based on those reports, Facilities readies personnel and machinery to address the severity of the anticipated storm,” Signorello said.

He said the University’s continuous operation means roadways need to always be clear for emergency vehicles or for sports teams or other groups who arrive on campus late at night.

“With our 24/7 operation, snow removal is a top priority for campus operations and safety,” Signorello said.

Caitlin Carroll can be reached at caitlin.carroll at student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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